How The Goldbergs Paid Tribute to George Segal for His Final EpisodeApril 8, 2021
The actor died March 23 at age 87 midway through filming on the ABC sitcom’s eighth season.
There was not a vision of “The Goldbergs” without George Segal’s Pops, but that was the reality the writers and creators found themselves in after the veteran actor passed away on March 23 at 87 years old.
His final filmed episode was not a particularly powerful or memorable outing for Segal’s character, who has been with the show since its premiere in 2013, but it now stands as the final on-screen chapter of the family patriarch’s story.
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The popular ABC sitcom had initially paid tribute to Segal after his passing with a card displayed after the next episode that aired after he’d died. For Tuesday’s final episode to feature Pops, they prepared a special treat for longtime fans.
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“Dedicated to our friend, George,” was the message that preceded a montage of some of Pops’ best moments on the show, including some of his funniest moments as well as some of the sage wisdom he had to offer the various members of his family over the past eight seasons.
Wendi McLendon-Covey paid tribute again to her co-star an onscreen father on April 7, tweeting affection for Segal and telling fans, “Tonight’s episode was the last that George filmed, but not the last of our season. We had no idea at the time we filmed it, that it would be our last with him.”
Both McLendon-Covey and series creator Adam F. Goldberg, on whose life the 1980s-set series is based, suggested that there is a template for how to deal with the loss of Segal’s character on the show. But it’s not something that will happen this season.
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Instead, McLendon-Covey assured fans, “We would NEVER replace George in the role of Pops. If we get a season 9, we will address it then.” ABC has not yet announced if the series will be picked up again.
Goldberg echoed her sentiments, suggesting that he already has an idea of how he would like to approach writing Segal’s death into the series, should he be afforded the opportunity.
“Even though my input and stories have not been used this season, I know the way to address this loss is to use my real experience of losing my Grandpa to honor George and my Pops,” he tweeted. “Hope I’m welcome [in Season 9]!”
Goldberg stepped down as showrunner prior to Season 7 of Sony Pictures TV produced “The Goldbergs” as part of an overall four-year deal with ABC Studios, handing the day-to-day reins to Chris Bishop and Alex Barnow, both of whom had been with the show since day one.
“The Goldbergs” continues without George Segal’s Pops on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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